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16 April 2021

Update on COVID-19 vaccination
rollout strategy

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We have been working hard with government and other role-players in driving a successful vaccine rollout strategy. We would like to share our progress on enabling the vaccination of our members and South Africans. (Our members include all members of all the medical schemes administered by our Health business.)

Given that COVID-19 is a global pandemic, all governments are required to coordinate and manage the response to the disease in the best way they can. As is the case in other countries, the South African Government has decided that it will source, distribute and oversee the rollout of the vaccination programme, and will therefore be the sole purchaser and distributor of the COVID-19 vaccines to provincial governments and the private sector, including medical schemes.

As the private sector is currently prohibited from purchasing the vaccine directly from manufacturers, and is required to purchase it from government, our aim has been to contribute to a solution which will make the greatest impact in achieving population immunity in the best interest of our members, South Africa’s people, and our overall economy.

Therefore, we have been working closely with government, industry bodies, business and labour sectors to influence a successful vaccine rollout strategy. This rollout plan is dependent on the supply of the vaccine, the more vaccines that become available the faster the rollout can progress.

We are gearing up to be able to deliver the vaccines in the most efficient way possible. To assist our members and the general public to obtain vaccines in their allocated phase, the following has been established:

  • We have procured the sites for our 5 large vaccination centres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Durban. These centres will provide most of the capacity for the vaccination of our members and the communities in which they are located.
  • Our existing 18 health walk-in centres across the country will be adapted to facilitate the administration of vaccines.
  • We will also utilise 8 occupational health clinics and 5 mobile clinics to further supplement our capacity. These clinics already have all the medical requirements in place.

Therefore, we will initially have 36 vaccination centres across the country which will be used for administering the vaccine. We have already contracted additional nursing capacity required to staff these centres and 80% of these nurses have now undergone the required training. This capacity should allow us to vaccinate between 40 000 and 55 000 people daily, depending on availability of vaccines.  

Government’s COVID-19 Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) self-registration portal is currently open for healthcare workers, and is scheduled to open to citizens who are 60 years and older today (16 April 2021) at 16:00.

We expect that people 60 years and over will receive their vaccines as a priority, in accordance with Government’s phased rollout plan.

Click here: http://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/ to register.

We will continue to engage government to progress its existing strategy as effectively as possible, and aid in accelerating the process. We will also continue to prepare for any potential changes in the government’s procurement strategy, with the wellbeing of our members remaining of the utmost importance.

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